S.** T OF c
Single copies available from:
National Marine Fisheries Service,
Financial Services Division, F/M22,
Washington, D.C. 20235
Title IV of the Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act
Amendments of 1978 established the Fishermen's
Contingency Fund (FCF) to compensate commercial
fishermen for property or economic loss caused by
oil and gas obstructions on the U.S. Outer Con-
tinental Shelf (OCS). The FCF is funded by fees
assessed oil and gas companies operating on the
OCS. The program is administered by the Financial
Services Division of the National Marine Fisheries
Service in Washington, D.C.
What can the Fishermen's Contin-
gency Fund do for me?
The Fund can pay you if your commerical fishing
operations suffer a casualty because of energy
obstructions on the Outer Continental Shelf.
If you damage or lose your fishing equipment or
vessel, the Fund can pay you for your property
If you lose fishing time, the Fund can pay you for
your economic loss.
What will the Fund pay me for Property
If your fishing gear can be repaired, the Fund
will pay you the repair cost.
If your fishing gear must be replaced, the Fund
will pay you the replacement cost.
For fishing vessel loss or damage, the Fund will
only pay the deductible on your vessel insurance.
If, for example, you have $45,000 worth of damage
to your vessel and your hull and machinery policy
has a $5,000 deductible, the Fund will pay you
$5,000. Your insurance company should pay
you the other $40,000.
What will the Fund pay me for Eco-
The Fund will pay you 50 percent of the gross
income you lost as a result of the casualty. This
covers gross income you otherwise would have
earned from the date the casualty occurs to the
date you reasonably should have been back
• How do you Calculate what the Fund
can pay for Lost Fishing Time?
Determine the amount of lost fishing time. This
begins on the day and time the damage was first
discovered and ends on the day and time you
should reasonably have been back fishing.
Determine your average daily income based on
the trip tickets for the three trips immediately
before the trip on which the casualty occurred.
Do this as follows:
(1) Add the total days for each of the three
(2) Add the value of the catch for each of the
(3) Divide the total trip value by the total trip
days to get the average income per day.
Multiply the days lost from fishing by the aver-
age income per day. You get 50 percent of this
amount as compensation for lost fishing time.
Do I have to Calculate this myself?
You should just so you'll have a good idea what
you're owed for lost fishing time. But we'll check
your calculations anyway. So, if you prefer, you
can just include the necessary information in
your claim and rely on us to do the calculation.
Here's the information you must include in your
claim to allow us to calculate lost fishing time:
(1) Trip tickets for the last tf ree trips before the
trip on which the casua :y occurred and for
the trip after the casualty
(2) The day and time each of these trips began
and the day and time each of them ended.
(3) The day and time you were first back fishing
after the casualty.
Will the Fund pay me for Anything
Yes. The Fund can also pay you for some other
incidental costs. The fees of attorneys, account-
ants, or other consultants in connection with a
claim can be paid from the Fund. Any other
consequential damages can also be paid if it
can be demonstrated that they resulted from
Do I have to Prove that my Casualty
was Caused by an Obstruction Re-
lated to Energy Activities on the Outer
Yes, you must prove this by a preponderance of
the evidence if you didn't file a 15-day report.
Preponderance of the evidence simply means
something is more likely to be true than it is to
If you did file a 15-day report, however, you
generally don't have to prove this because your
casualty is presumed to have been caused by
an obstruction related to energy activities on
the Outer Continental Shelf.
In addition to filing the 15-day report, you must
also meet a few other conditions to quality for
this presumption. These are:
(1) You were commercially fishing at the time
the casualty occurred.
(2) You were, at the time the casualty occurred,
within a 3-mile radius of any portion of a
leased block, pipeline, easement, right of
way, or other oil or gas production, explor-
ation, or development activity on the Outer
(3) There was no record of an obstruction at the
casualty site on the most recent nautical
charts or in the Notice to Mariners. This does
not apply to casualties caused by pipelines,
which will be paid whether or not they were
charted or in the Notices.
(4) There was no proper surface marker or lighted
buoy at the casualty site.
If you filed a 15-day report and if you meet the
four conditions above, your casualty will be
presumed to have been caused by energy activ-
ities on the Outer Continental Shelf. If not, you'll
have to prove that it was.
What is a 15-Day Report?
This is what you send to us in order to help
qualify for the presumption that your casualty
is eligible for payment from the Fund.
You must send it to us no later than the 15th day
after you first return to port from the trip when
the casualty occurred. If it's later than this, you
can't qualify for the presumption.
The 15-day report must briefly contain the
(1) What kind of damage occurred.
(2) Where the damage occurred.
(3) When the damage occurred.
(4) The name of the fishing vessel involved.
(5) Your name, an address, and social security
number or tax identification number.
You can file a 15-day report by phone, in person,
by telegram or by mail. These reports must be filed
with the Financial Services Division, National Marine
Fisheries Services, 3300 Whitehaven Street, N.W.,
Washington, D.C. 20235, (202) 634-4688. Our telex
number is 467-856, (answerback is US-Com-FISH-
If you file a 15-day report, we suggest you use
our form to do so, but you don't have to.
• Do I have to do anything else in order
to get paid?
Yes. You must file a claim. You must do this
whether or not you filed a 15-day report. You
must file your claim no later than 90 days from
the date the casualty occurred. If you don't do
this, you can't be paid.
Remember, your claim must be filed no later
than 90 days from the date the casualty occurred
(not 90 days from the date you filed a 15-day
• What has to be in this Claim?
We suggest you use our claim form because it
indicates all the required information, but you
don't have to.
Generally, all forms of claims must contain the fol-
(1) The exact location of the casualty in Loran
C coordinates (or the next best locational
device if you don't use Loran C).
(2) How the casualty occurred (what happened)
and what you think caused it.
(3) How much damage there was (what got dam-
aged or lost, what it cost to repair or replace,
how much fishing time was lost, and how
much gross income was lost).
(4) Proof that you owned the property lost or
damaged in the casualty.
(5) Evidence that the casualty was caused by
an obstruction related to energy activities
on the Outer Continental Shelf. (You don't
have to submit this evidence if you filed a
15-day report and meet the other four con-
ditions required for the presumption).
(6) The necessary documentation for your claim.
(a) Witness statements, if you have any.
(b) Receipts or other evidence that you owned
the property lost or damaged.
(c) Estimates or receipts for repair or replace-
ment of the property lost or damaged.
(d) Trip tickets to help establish how much
gross income you lost. (We need trip tick-
ets for the three trips before the casualty
and the next trip after the casualty).
• Can I Send an Incomplete Claim if all
the Information Isn't Readily Avail-
Yes. Don 't get too close to the 90-day deadline just
because you don't have all the required information.
In general, your claim should be as complete as
possible when you send it. But, if some items are
missing, send an incomplete claim. Whatever you
do, get a claim (complete or incomplete) mailed to
us before the 90th day following the date the casu-
alty was discovered.
If we get an incomplete claim, our claims adjustors
will write you a letter telling you what's missing and
asking you to send it within 30 days of their letter's
date. If you don't send the additional information
within the additional 30 days, your claim can 't be
So, you've got 90-days from the date you discov-
ered the casualty to mail a claim. And you can have
another 30 days from the date we notify you to send
any required information which may not have been
in your claim.
Meeting these deadlines is essential.
• Where do I Send A Claim?
Send it to us. The address is: Chief, Financial Ser-
vices Division, National Marine Fisheries Service,
3300 Whitehaven Street, N.W., Washington, D.C.
• Can I Call Somebody if I Need Help?
Yes. Call us anytime at (202) 634-4688 if you need
• How Long Will it Take to Process my
We'll process your claim within 60-days from the
date all required information is received by us.
• Can I Appeal Your Decision on my
Yes. But you must appeal to us no later than 30
days from the date of our letter giving you an
initial determination on your claim. If you appeal
later than this, your appeal can't be considered.
You have an additional 30-days from the date you
appeal to submit any further evidence needed to
support your appeal. We must process your appeal
within 60 days from the date you submit it.
• Outline the Critical Times Involved
—Day No. 1. You first discover your casualty.
— 15 days after first returning to port. This is the
last day you can submit your 15-day report (but
you should submit it earlier just to be safe).
— 90-days after the casualty was first discovered.
This is the last day you can submit your claim (but
you should submit it earlier just to be safe).
—30-days after the date of our letter notifying you
that your claim is incomplete. This is the last day
you can submit the additional information (but
you should submit it earlier just to be safe).
— 60-days after we have a complete claim. This is
the last day we have to send you an initial deter-
mination on your claim (but we'll try to do it
— 30-days from the date of our letter notifying you
of our initial determination. This is the last day
you can appeal our initial determination.
— 30-days after you appeal. This is the last day you
can submit additional evidence to support your
— 60-days after you appeal. This is the last day we
have to send you a determination on your appeal.
• How do you Determine if I met my
If you phone us, we use the date of your call.
If you come to us in person, we use the date of your
If you mail something to us, we use the postmark
date on the envelope you mailed it in.
In What Situations Can my Claim be
If your claim is submitted late, we must deny it.
If the evidence indicates you are negligent, we may
deny all or part of your claim.
If you didn't submit a 15-day report, we must deny
your claim unless it proves by a preponderance of
the evidence that your casualty was caused by an
obstruction related to energy activities on the
Outer Continental Shelf.
If you did submit a 15-day report, your casualty will
be presumed to have been caused by an obstruction
related to energy activities on the Outer Continen-
tal Shelf. Nevertheless, we may still deny your claim if
any of the following are involved:
(1) You weren't commercially fishing at the time
of the casualty.
(2) The obstruction (excluding pipelines) which
caused your casualty was recorded on nauti-
ical charts, published in the Notices to
Mariners, or marked by a proper surface
marker. (Casualties occurring within a 1/4
mile radius of charted or published ob-
structions are presumed to have been caused
(3) If the casualty occurred in State waters (rather
than Federal waters on the Outer Continen-
tal Shelf), we must deny the claim unless
you can establish that the obstruction (even
though in State waters) was more likely than
not related to energy activities on the Outer
Continental Shelf. An example of this might
be heavy surface traffic through State waters
to energy activities on the Outer Continen-
(4) The casualty didn't occur within a 3-mile
radius of on a leased block, pipeline, ease-
ment, right of way, or other Outer Continental
Shelf oil or gas production, exploration, or
development activity (in this case, you would
have to prove that the casualty was caused
by an obstruction related to offshore energy
When Do I Get Paid?
As soon as we make a favorable determination on
your claim, we'll send you a letter telling you how
much we'll pay you. We'll also send you a settle-
ment agreement and a subrogation agreement at
the same time. The settlement agreement is your
agreement not to appeal our decision and to repay
any amount should the claim be subsequently
reduced. The subrogation agreement is your agree-
ment to transfer to us your right to sue the party
causing your casualty and to assist us if we pursue
recovery of damages from that party. If you sign
these agreements and send them back to us, we'll
pay you immediately. If not, you'll have to wait until
30-days after our initial letter telling you how much
we'll pay you.
Payment will be by U.S. Treasury check.
v U.S. GOVERNMENT PRINTING OFFICE: 1985 - 490-100 - 227/20031
U.S. DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE
Malcolm Baldrige, Secretary
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
Anthony J. Calio, Administrator
National Marine Fisheries Service
William G. Gordon,
Assistant Administrator for Fisheries
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